What is Oncology Massage?
Oncology massage is a specialised treatment adapted specifically for those living with, or have had a history of cancer. Your therapist has been trained by Oncology Massage Australia, which means that you can rest assured that your treatment will be safely modified and adjusted, taking into consideration any contraindications relating to your current or past treatment, including lymph node removal, scarring or tumour sites.
The benefits from receiving gentle, therapeutic and nurturing touch during a time of illness cannot be overstated. Spending hours in and out of hospital, undergoing painful procedures and the uncertainty of outcomes all take a physical and emotional toll. A massage can be a time to let go of the worries and to allow a space for healing, or simply to just fall asleep on a warm table. It can help restore a sense of calm in what can often be quite a chaotic time.
Will I still get relief from my sore back/neck/shoulders?
Cancer treatment can cause all sorts of side effects, including easy bruising to bone density loss and extreme fatigue. All this is considered as part of Oncology Massage, so the focus is very much on gently, slow and nurturing strokes which bring about a state of deep relaxation. So, although you might not be getting your usual deep massage, most people still get relief from sore muscles due to the effect of the whole-body relaxation which allows for those sore muscles to just let go.
I’m in the middle of treatment, can I still get a massage?
Absolutely. In fact, studies have shown that massage during cancer treatment can have some positive effects on the side effects experienced. Participants improved symptoms scores after massage were noted as:
- Pain improved by 47%
- Fatigue improved by 42%
- Anxiety improved by 59%
- Depression improved by 48%
- Nausea improved by 51%
- Other symptoms (such as shortness of breath, memory problems, dry mouth, disturbed sleep) improved by 48%
What will happen at my treatment?
A comprehensive history will be taken at your initial appointment, some of the points you will be asked about are:
Date of Diagnosis
Type and location of cancer
Current or past treatment history
Lymph Node removal
Side effects of treatment
As this will take some time at the first appointment, your time on the table might be a little shorter. But it is essential that your therapist has the necessary information to provide a safe and enjoyable treatment for you. This will also be a useful guide for us to see how your body responds to massage without overloading you initially.
I’ve finished treatment recently should I still book in for Oncology Massage?
Yes, this wonderful treatment is suitable for you throughout your recovery and well into the future. In fact, years down the line it is still recommended that you receive this massage, as it is a safe alternative that will safeguard you against any injuries such as lymphoedema in the future.
Did you know that due the gentle nature of this massage, it can be used for other chronic health conditions such as MS, Parkinson’s Disease, Fibromyalgia, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Anxiety etc.
Will I still be covered by my Health Fund.
Yes, this is still considered a remedial massage by a qualified remedial therapist, it is just specifically adapted to the needs of those undertaking cancer treatment.